William Kentridge

Artist whose powerfully political animation, sculpture and drawing also extends into performance and opera

In the course of a 40-year career Kentridge has projected a practice based on the intimacy of prints, drawings and animations onto the grandest of scales. If the past year wasn’t quite so busy as the one preceding it – when his work seemed to take over museums, galleries, theatre festivals and even public spaces across the world – it still furthered his claim to be among the world’s most respected living artists. A major survey at the Reina Sofía in Madrid traced the branching out of the South African artist’s politically engaged practice into theatre, installation, modernist opera, puppetry, film and performance, while there were further exhibitions at museums in Frankfurt, Boston, Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as at Goodman Gallery in the artist’s native Johannesburg. But the highlight was surely the staging of a widely acclaimed live commission, The Head & The Load, in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, commemorating the contribution of African soldiers to the First World War.